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Lunar ice - Water ice on the bottom of a crater on the Moon in perpetual shadow; lunar water; regolith; craters; - Space Art Illustration
 

Lunar ice

Water from an encounter with an icy comet has collected in the everlasting shade of a deep crater on the Moon where the temperature is a constant - 380 F.

In 1998, the unmanned Lunar Prospector probe discovered evidence for water ice on the surface of the Moon. Some scientists believe that as much as 10 to 300 million tons of ice may reside at the Moon's North and South poles. The source of the ice is thought to be from one or more comets that struck the Moon's surface four billion years ago. (It is thought that Earth's water may have come from comets as well.) Unfortunately, the Moon's relatively small mass and lack of an atmosphere caused it to lose nearly all of its accumulated water to space. Any water that does remain would likely be on the poles, hidden in craters and depressions shaded from the Sun.

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Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

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